Discovery

Jan 28, 1990. 12:51 p.m.
Greece. Minoan Palace of Knossos


I tried to drown the chatters around me. Even with the air plug, bits of conversation were filtering in. I heard Deidre’s reply on the golden seat throne discovery and it’s ramification. I turned to Great moments in Greek Archaeology and learnt more about the Aphrodite of Melos. The bus lurched to a stop.

Today, I got to see the Minoan Palace of Knossos. A major portion of my Greek Archeology class was to go to the archaeological sites and write an experience paper afterward. I grabbed my bag and walked out of the transit like the rest of my class.

We went in from the southeast section of the Palace of Knossos, unlike the West Entrance to the Palace, to avoid tourists.
         The Southeast House, with its characteristic thick ground-floor walls, small rooms and a central pillar, was not the destination. The destination was the crypt beneath the Caravan Serai and the The Royal Tomb of King Minos. This part is mostly kept out of the Minoan Palace of Knossos map and not known to the public because Sir Lynters just discovered it a year ago by accident.

We strutted to the Royal Tomb of King Minos. Besides the Creto-Mycenaean rectilinear pillars built of mud brick or pisé (rammed earth) was an enclosed switch. The guard assigned to us opened the crypt. It was pitch dark at first. I narrowed my eyes as I peered into the darkness, building up anticipation for the discovery.

The guard, obviously used to archaeologists, allowed us those precious moment before whipping up a torch. He went in to light the wooden torches, his hand poised over the wick for a few seconds while rolling the thumbwheel of the lighter. In a matter of seconds, the room was lit with an orange glow. We trooped in and the lever was raised protecting us and the treasure from the outside until we were ready to leave.

I kept walking, curious on finding out the length of the crypt and hoping to start my examination from the rear. The hall seemed to lead to a segmental arch platform with τάφος του Μίδα in a big font and κουτί αφής δωρεάν Πανδώρας ή κουτί της Πανδώρας αφής, μόνο το δούμε in smaller font written on the keystone. My eyes were however drawn to the all seeing eye at the end of the inscription.

I watched spell bound as the iris changed it color from dusky gray to beryllos. My eyes swung back to the lettering and saw the swirls and tips of μόνο ο καλούμενος πρέπει να βλέπουν το φως complete the text. The tomb of Midas. Pandora’s box and only the called shall see the light, the crypt read.

I placed my gloved hands on the eye, feeling it etched exterior, hoping to find the reason for the changing color. An hint of embedded stone perhaps. The eye felt cold to touch and I felt a pinch.

I turned round, just to be sure that class was still behind me. My blood was smeared on the eye but with no visible indication of the sharp object that had pierced me. The eye got cloudy. Dark whiffs of swirls rose to expunge the blood from the eye surface. I heard the class move from the tomb they had been examining to the next.

I knew I had to do the same but the Midas tomb still had me curious. A small compartment levered out without making noise. I placed my right hand in it, feeling the square corners. I felt a trickle of water drops hit my hands. I withdrew my hand and the compartment closed off and the eye winked.

Then I felt it.

It was as if my hand was enclosed in concrete.

I waved my hands in front of me, but the purple vinyl made fun of me. But at the tip of my index were golden residue which was not there before. I, in apprehension removed my glove.

The inside was laced in gold.

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